Remembering Lylee

I wanted to write today because it’s an emotional one for us.

Today is one year since we lost Lylee.

Last year we were in the last stage of pregnancy. It was freshly fall. We were in the midst of a fun & busy travel season, squeezing in those last few trips before M would arrive. We were looking forward to a baby shower and my birthday and the holiday season. There was so much GOOD going on…

And then Lylee got an infection and passed away so suddenly it took months for us to wrap our heads around it.

Ly’s passing was the second major, Earth shattering, out-of-the-blue death in my life. And if you’re a “she was just a dog” kind of person then this post isn’t for you. But chances are you’re not because our friends and family and neighbors truly SHOWED UP for us this time last year.

I am so grateful for the community of love in which we belong. My parents, K’s parents, & my grandparents gathered together with us to say goodbye to and bury Lylee. My brother and sister-in-law drove four hours just to bring us a gorgeously framed photo of the bear and sit with us in our grief, remembering the joy Ly brought us. Friends and neighbors sent cards, flowers, and food to heal our souls. My best friends had a drawing of Lylee (& Enzo) commissioned and sent to us.

Remember the life Lylee lived and the love she brought out of others is the gift she left behind.

I’m also pretty sure she gifted us Bristol and laughs about it everyday, looking down on us and thinking, ‘See? I wasn’t so bad, was I?’ Lol.

Lylee would have adored Moo. I know Enzo still misses his sister. I think about her often. She was K’s dog through and through, and I know her death still deeply affects him. But Lylee came to us by chance and we were so damn lucky to spend those years with her. She was our first baby and I’m forever grateful that we got to love her.

So the moral of today’s post is simple. Hug and squeeze and kiss on the ones you love- fur and flesh. Sit in the sun and pet your cat’s warm fur, throw the ball a few extra times for your dog, give your mom a call.

And please adopt your next fur baby. Do it for Lylee ♥

I don’t want to write this.

I don’t want to write this but I use my blog to record moments in my life and this past week was definitely a moment. Albeit a real sh*tty one.

If you follow me on IG or we’re friends on Facebook, you know that our sweet sassy soft lovable Lylee Bear passed away on Saturday morning. I’ve had family & friends die and I’ve had pets die. I can truly say I’ve had nothing hurt like this. You can argue that she was “just a dog” but I’d suggest you make the argument elsewhere.

Our dogs are our babies. And even with a baby on the way, our dogs are our babies. We’re torn up and lost and sad. We took Ly in just 4 months before our wedding. She has been a part of every major life & marital decision we’ve ever made. She’s lived in all our houses. I’m not kidding when I say every single thing in our house reminds me of her and has some Lylee story connected to it. Living without her sucks.

We can’t stop saying, “I just want my damn dog back.” And it’s true.

Losing Lylee was the pinnacle of crap this week. We were on vacation when she took a turn for the worst. The last vacation before baby; one that was supposed to be relaxing. We cut it short (and would obviously choose that over and over again- I don’t regret it one bit) and spent a lot of money to get home.

I’ve also been in the hospital twice this week. I am absolutely fine. I’m just clumsy and I fell two times. I know- I need to be more careful. Trust me, I know.

As you can imagine, our bank accounts took a hit this week with all this drama. But I still wish we were worrying about how to pay for Lylee’s recovery care right now.

None of this matters. I’d go through it all again to get Lylee back but that’s not an option so right now we’re just drowning in misery and waiting to feel better.

I know that we will feel better. I know our energy and excitement will come back. Honestly- all you bloggers who have lost fur babies- I knew it hurt. I didn’t know it hurt like this.

I’ve been absent from Blogland for the last week. I’ll probably be absent most of this week (although I have a scheduled post for Thursday). I’ll get back into the swing of it some day, but right now I’m just sad.

To those that reached out on other platforms- thank you. Your words have meant so much to me and I appreciate all the love more than you know.

A Tribute to Rascal

The world needs all kinds of kinds and I am the kind who has never not had a pet.

This is long but I need some written therapy so hang with me.

I was born into a family that owned a wonderful dog- my parents’ first baby, Bruno. When I was 10 we took in a stray cat. When Bruno died, we still had the cat and a year or two later my brother and I brought home a puppy (much to my mother’s chagrin). Since then, we’ve had lizards, hamsters, a bird, fish, some rabbits, and more cats and dogs pass through our door. The month I graduated college- five months before we got married- Kyle and I took in Lylee. (A few years prior to that we’d found an elderly stray dog that we took in and was living with K and his family at that time.) Obviously now, in our own house, we have Ly and Enzo. My brother has a rescue cat. And my parents have a dog, three cats, and a rabbit.

I’m not kidding- I have never been without a pet.

But the worst part about owning a pet is losing a pet. And last week I was reminded of that.

Like I said, when I was 10 my mom brought home a stray kitten. We think she was roughly 6 weeks old. My mom was a first grade teacher in the country and this scrawny little thing wandered up to her exterior door. The teachers all decided they’d take turns trying to “take her home.” The kindergarten teacher’s husband refused to adopt another cat so it was my mom’s turn. She thought Dad would send the little furball right back. Instead, he cuddled with her all night and named her Rascal.

Rascal grew to be a 19 lbs indoor cat. She’s always been jet black and a little mean, lol. She and K have never gotten along, although I think he loves her deep down. She was my cat- my responsibility to feed, drive to the vet, change the litter, play with, clean up after. She slept between my legs under the covers almost every night and she’d run to the door to greet me when I was home from college. Since Ly hates cats and Rascal was older and more settled with my parents, she stayed in the family home when I eventually moved out.

Last Wednesday I had to say goodbye to my childhood best friend.

I’ve had a few pets leave this world naturally, but I’ve also had to make the call twice. It sucks. Both times we made the choice those animals let us know that it was ok and they were ready. Rascal gave me that on Tuesday night. It’s a quiet sigh or a simple nod of the head, telling you that they are at peace with leaving the world and, while they know you are not, you eventually will be and they’ve appreciated every moment of love and affection and shelter you’ve provided.

But it doesn’t make the sadness any easier.

This is not meant to sound elitist, but if you’ve never owned a pet you probably don’t understand most of what I’m saying. (But maybe you do! I don’t know.) When you’ve loved and cared for something for 5 or 10 or 15 or 18 years you form a bond and a language. And the hardest thing that your pet will ever tell you is, “It’s time.”

I won’t lie- my head and my heart and my eyes hurt so, so much from crying. I was laying in bed last Tuesday night wondering if I’d ever be happy again and why the f*ck we even own pets when this is inevitable?

But it’s because those 10 or 18 years of pure love and joy and family are worth the decline.

So in honor of Rascal, if you’re a pet parent, love them extra hard today and give them a few more treats than normal. The most unfair thing in the world is the lifespan of a pet, but I doubt my heart could stand to love them any longer and lose them.

*This is just a PSA and my own opinion, but if you have to make the tough call to say goodbye to a furry family member, please don’t send them in alone. Sit with them and hold them until the end. It sucks and it’s terrible, but they need your love and your lap more than ever in that moment.*